Thursday, September 30, 2010

Malaysian 2010 New Literature Component for Secondary Schools

Hi Everyone,

Many of you would have dropped by this blog because you may want to know more about the new cycle for the Malaysian MOE English Literature Component for English.

Many schools would have received the prescibed texts by now. But there are still some novels that have not being issued as they will be used only in Forms 3.

Latest: Form 5 Novels for Literature 2011
There are 3 different novels which will be alloted according to the states; like the old cycle of the 3 novels of Jungle of Hope, The Return & The Pearl.

The 3 novels are:
1) The Curse by Lee Su Ann
2) Step by Wicked Step by Anne Fine
3) Catch Us If You Can by Catherine MacPhail

From the feedback and my own study of the text (Forms 4 and 5), I noticed that the texts are generally simple and straightforward. The authors/poets are mainly unfamiliar ones.

I think the literary texts chosen were meant to be very accessible and fun for our students.

The main different with this current selection of literature texts is the inclusion of dramas or plays. I think it bodes well for the teaching of literature as students will find it fun to act it out.

There is a possiblity that the Literature Component would be very much school-based (PLBS and ULBS), with activities and is student-centred.

One thing I've noticed about the authors chosen by the MOE is they must be "politically correct" in terms of the local writer/poet or the contents. It's really a shame. In modern literature, texts used in schools and universities elsewhere, are not based on their "political leanings" but rather, strictly on MERIT.

Below is list of the literary texts without the Novels:

Form 1:
1. The River -Valerie Bloom
2. Mr Nobody - author unknown

Short Stories
1. Flipping Fantastic -Jane Langford

Form 2:

1. I wonder - Jeannie Kirby
2. Heir Conditioning - M. Shanmughalingam

Short Stories
1. One is One and All Alone - Nicholas Fisk

1. Rumpelstiltskin -Angela Lanyon

Form 3:

1. A Fighter's Line- Marzuki Ali
2. Leisure - Willian Henry Davies

Form 4:

1. In the Midst of Hardship -Latiff Mohidin  (The Malay version is found in this blog)
2. He Had such Quiet Eyes -Bibsy Soenharjo (For a fun activity, please go to my blog dated 19th January 2011)

Short Stories
1. QWERTYUIOP -Vivian Alcock
2. The Fruitcake Special -Frank Brennan

1. Gulp and Gasp- John Townsend

Form 5:

1. Nature -H.D. Carberry
2. Are you Still Playing Your Flute -Zurinah Hassan (The Malay version is found in this blog)
    *There's a controversy brewing about this "├»ncomplete" poem. Look in my blog for the Malay version.

Please look out for the Pearson Form 4 Literature Workbook which is co-written by Christine Tan and me. We'll be coming out with a third edition as well. There's also a separate resource toolkit.

Rodney Tan


  1. Why do we have to have different novel for form 5? What's the logic?

  2. Does anyone know if the title for the 2012 Form 3s' novel is out yet?

  3. Hey Where is Black Beauty

  4. thanks rodney i now have a clearer picture of what i am supposed to teach for form 2.

  5. I would like to know of any resources for the Form Five novel "Catch us if you can?"

  6. For "Catch Us If You Can", the Curriculum Development Centre has produced a teacher's guide including some worksheets for students and a Powerpoint Presentation.

    Rahmah Othman's blog has a link to that resource.

  7. What is the name of novel books for Form 3

  8. Hi Mr Tan! Glad to know that there is someone out there to share this classic issue. My ultimate problem as English teacher is to prepare the students for exam! Arggh. I hate it. Why cant people leave us teaching EL so that both our students and us could benefit the learning of the language for our entire lives. There are a lot of things we could do when we teach the language but why restrict us to focus more on exam. Anyone has the same thought as mine? Thanks Mr Tan for allowing me to voice this issue.

  9. Rodney Tan Chai WhattDecember 21, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Dear Ananymous of Dec 14,
    Thanks for voicing a very common cry of English langauge teachers. As our educational system is very much top down, we have to work within contraints. From next year onwards (2012), our teaching effectiveness will be based on hard, cold data in our Key Perforamance Index (KPI) results of every student that we teach. And these data will come from the exams & school based assessment that we will conduct. So, the situation will only get worse as the system becomes very assessment-based.

  10. hi rodney...i browse through ur page..yet there's no post for summary teaching form 3,4 and 5..i would like to have teaching technique for summary since i am teaching 'galus' student..perhaps i'll find some magic for them..thank you
    awin mohamad
    sg petani, kedah.

  11. I need to find the poem, Hymn to the Twentieth Century by Gareth Owen online...can anyone assist me. Thank You